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TUSTIN, CA-A new JT Schmid’s steakhouse and trendy retailers like DSW shoes and Tilly’s teen fashion have debuted at the lifestyle portion of Vestar Development Co.’s new District at Tustin Legacy, a one-million-sf venue at the northwest corner of Jamboree Road and Barranca Parkway. Jeffrey Axtell, project director for Vestar, says that the restaurant and youth-oriented retailers are drawing crowds to the lifestyle portion of the project, which includes an AMC Tustin 14-screen theater.

The lifestyle portion of the District at Tustin Legacy features live music and a variety of other events, including Karaoke, video game competitions and movie night on the District Stage, just outside of Borders Books & Music. The 14-screen, 3,000-seat AMC theater, which opened earlier this year, is one of the anchors at the District and is the first AMC theater in Tustin.

The District will continue to add tenants next year, including a number of shops and restaurants as well as Strike Bowling, a New York-based company that designs bowling alleys with a rock-and-roll theme. The shopping center is the first new regional center to open in Orange County in the last decade.

The entertainment and lifestyle center is being developed by Vestar/Kimco Tustin LP as a joint venture between Vestar and Kimco Developers, which is a financial partner in the project. The center is the newest of Vestar’s “district” concept, which consist of an inner lifestyle section with shops, restaurants and entertainment, along with a surrounding array of large-format stores offering everything from electronics to home goods.

In addition to the existing communities surrounding the new venue, Axtell points out that the District at Tustin Legacy stands to benefit from approximately 4,600 new residences and more than six million sf of commercial space will soon be built on the land adjacent to the new regional retail center as part of the overall Tustin Legacy development. The area surrounding the project provides a plentiful customer base, with nearly 1.5 million permanent residents and 930,000 employees living within a 10-mile radius.

The open-air lifestyle and entertainment center is part of the larger Tustin Legacy project, a redevelopment of the former Marine Corps Air Station here that will also include office, residential and other types of development. The retail center will feature walkways and bike paths that will eventually connect it with other components of the Tustin Legacy project.

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